April 22nd marked a key milestone in the governance and oversight of the Innovation Hub Africa (or iHub). Hillsong Africa Foundation (HAF), appointed four gentlemen as Directors of “iHub Enterprise Development Pty”, a newly formed operating company entity under the HAF Trust. The inaugural directors are:
- Regan Adams (CEO of RCS South Africa – BNP Paribas Group)
- Lourens Kruger (COO Hillsong Africa)
- Steffan van der Male, Managing Director, iHub (executive team director)
- Andy Boettcher, Founder and Chairman, HFI
We’ve now had two monthly meetings as a board, our most recent taking place Friday, May 13th over Zoom. You can see all four of us captured in the photo above in what we’ve all become very accustomed to – convening meetings virtually with team members spread across the globe (Regan, Lourens and Steffan taking the call from their homes in Cape Town, and me joining from our Florida home).
We’re still finalizing our corporate structure and bylaws that will prescribe how the iHub relates to its shareholder, the HAF Trust, as well as how we govern ourselves and provide oversight to the management team operating the iHub. One unique element that we are weaving into our corporate structure is to align our operating structure with South Africa’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) program code. Our iHub skills development programs intended to help black South Africans find employment in the digital economy can attract programmatic and enterprise development funding from other South African corporates that must contribute up to 6% of their net income to the BBBEE initiatives in the country.
Our leadership focus for the next quarter, once we establish our governing norms, will be to secure stable funding sources from both the international donor community and South African BBBEE enterprises that are looking for partnerships with skills development and training organizations like the iHub. Steffan will be heading to Europe in a few days for a major fund raising trip where he’ll meet with potential donors in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, and the UK.
I’m looking forward to shifting into this new senior governance and directorship role after having my “sleeves rolled up” in operating roles for the iHub, providing co-leadership to the Team, overseeing Program Delivery, designing the Operating Architecture model and the LMS implementation for the last 3 years. This new role will help me play to other strengths in strategic planning, partner relationship building and executive governance. And I look forward to learning more about the South African BBBEE program as well as building new alliances and partnerships with global technology companies that can bring new employment placement opportunities for our grads as well as help us expand student training program offerings beyond digital marketing to other potential sectors such as Cyber Security, Fintech, and No-Code application development.
Once we’ve established a more sustainable funding solution for the iHub, I look forward to working with the directors to begin to flesh out our 5-year strategic roadmap and providing guidance to the management team as they plan for Student Intake 2023.
Look for future updates here as I settle in to and contribute my best to this new role as a Director of the Innovation Hub Africa!